Old 09-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Some Sore Songs

I put up a couple of new songs on ReverbNation today.

One is a vocal, although I am not a singer - Don't Drive Too Fast.

One is an instrumental with no guitars, all MIDI - Saving and Spending.

These are the first two songs on my Reverbnation page.

[BTW, moio or others, how on Reverbnation do I link someone to a particular song from my list? I saw an index number on yours. Can't find that.]

Danke mucho for both positive and negative evaluations or suggestions.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msore View Post

[BTW, moio or others, how on Reverbnation do I link someone to a particular song from my list? I saw an index number on yours. Can't find that.]
Hi msore,

concerning the linking: If you're logged in into your account and you're on your page, click the "share" button of the song that you wanna share. A layer appears, grab the link in order to post it.

I really like your music because it's unusual. There's something very zappaesque to it. Anyway, I sometimes miss a little hook lines/melody here and there that pulls me through.

cheers,
M
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
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THanks for the answer and the encouragement. Encouragement from a real musician like you is motivating.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #4
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Don't Drive So Fast is cool. Your lyrics are very interesting and evocative. Milk turned into duds!
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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Default preciate

Thanks. Were the two songs VERY different? What did you think of that?
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:24 PM   #6
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This is just personal preference here - I found the vocals and real guitar sounds on Don't Drive So Fast more engaging. I generally don't find midi/electronic-y stuff as interesting. But, like I said, that's just me. And you're doing some cool stuff here, so don't let some goofball like me come between you and your muse.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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Default what packaging?

Thanks for clarifying. I am - with Reaper as tool - experimenting with various approaches, trying to figure out how other people experience music, and my music in particular. Sometimes reaction runs in favor of pop-melodic-hook-4/4-repetitive structures. But other times - with you for example - I am gratified that people like the adventurousness of leaving behind the canned, boxed assumptions. Sometimes they like machine-sounds, but others like instrumental and naturally produced tones. It is a kind of an exercise in social psychology to see WHICH kinds of people like WHAT kinds of musical expression.

Music is beyond packaging, but you still have to package it in something, right? thanks.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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i've heard an old stereotype about how a recovering alcoholic is least tolerant of other people's drinking. i'm going to be that guy - pointing out in your music what i like least about my own

first of all, i really like the "zappaesque" quality moio mentioned - the combination of inventiveness, musicality, and performance. and leaving behind the predictable-4/4-hook-based status quo you say.

now for the nitpick: while i'm all about midi-only composition, i'm less fond of the plainness(?) of the sounds themselves in "saving & spending". it's like a synth patch here, a synth patch there, another synth patch there, that technically fit in the mix but don't "gel" into a sonic whole. believe me, i've made tons of four-track-cassettes full of that

also, no i wouldn't say the two were *very* different
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:51 AM   #9
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Default yes sir

That issue you raised - sonic quality and gelling and that - is a mystery to me. I am a guy who spent fifty years playing jazz chords and fingerpicking. I have tried to read stuff on the electronic music approach both online and in books. First, I don't understand it. And secondly, I am not sure the practitioners of it understand it, since ten commentators will say ten different things about it.

Right on comments. thanks.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:14 PM   #10
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I checked out parts of all the songs. Very interesting compositions.

Definitely an original style.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
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...sonic quality and gelling and that - is a mystery to me... First, I don't understand it. And secondly, I am not sure the practitioners of it understand it, since ten commentators will say ten different things about it...
probably nobody understands it all, maybe just have a grasp on what works for them....?

i do remember a word from college (which i hated at the time because it was one professor's pet phrase): "ameliorate". now it makes sense to me in this context, and might be something for you to consider. (see also: tweak, futz, roughen, polish, jack, boost, doctor, augment, embellish, etc...)
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Default compare to other arts

Interesting that similar vague terms are used in cuisine.

What DOES ameliorate and what DOES complement, however, is not immediately apparent.

Thus, the mystery solvable only by long term interactions with other seekers.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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Interesting that similar vague terms are used in cuisine.

What DOES ameliorate and what DOES complement, however, is not immediately apparent.

Thus, the mystery solvable only by long term interactions with other seekers.
you're right, there's no direct translation from those terms to settings on plugins or equipment, or indeed any specific method.

maybe think of it this way...

in the physical world of sound, things oscillate, the surrounding air carries those waves through an environment, and our ears receive the differences in pressure. we are accustomed to perceive an amazing amount of detail in the slight variations of sonic character that each stage of that sonic journey has added (ameliorated, tweaked, etc... ).

in the electro-synthetic world of sound, engineers and programmers have found ways to mimic a small fraction of the real world's sonic character. the earliest synthesizers merely oscillated - sines, squares, saws, then later samples. then a wide variety of tricks have been added - reverbs, filters, leslies, flangers, chorus, etc., etc., to give character (ameliorate, tweak, etc.. ) to those fairly uninteresting and basic oscillations.

stemming from those premises, the approaches to physical recording and electronic recording may almost be opposed. in the physical world, the goal is often to capture the purest natural sound. in the electronic world, my goal is to layer a lot of tools to create an interesting (if impossible) sonic space. i feel i have failed when the origins of my sound are readily identifiable (and replicatable, i just realized).

that's part of my reason to share your opinion of dj/dance music - their sources are usually glaringly apparent: there's the 808 drums, there's the orchestra hit, there's the sample loop from xyz disc, and there's the eight-measure filter sweep over a flat sixteenth snare roll that pretends to build excitement... blah!

of course your song that i commented on is vastly more musically interesting than any dance clip (and a lot of my stuff, to be honest). my reaction was that it seemed the sound had traveled directly from the back of the synthesizer (or vsti) onto tape (or wav in reaper), something i or most anyone with the equipment could achieve.


add effects. double/triple/etc sounds that were single. echo. chorus. compress. flange. gate. whatever... ameliorate
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
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Default mixing flavors

Interesting. I will experiment.

And along the way make a lot of mistakes!

While the essence of melody and composition are independent of sound, we all love the stuff, eh?

Another thing I hear about but do not understand is the use of SENDS. Is that basically a way of "mixing" things up?
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:23 PM   #15
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Default Caffe Florian

Here is another song, written in the mood of a nice place to eat and read on the South Side of Chicago.

The whole thing - composed, played, recorded, mixed, arranged and put up on Reverbnation all in one day. [Yeah I know, I should fuss more. But there are so many more songs to do.]

Comments welcome.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10229254
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:52 PM   #16
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Default How To Be Good To Her

This one has lyrics, but dammit the way I did the music to it does not have proper room for the lyrics. So I think I will have to do another arrangement with singing in mind.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10300448

===========

Pick up on the obvious when it gets hinted at
make sure to never take her for granted.
Noticing is a little thing that is not that small
Notice what you have or have nothing at all.

How to be good to her?
Think
about how she must
feel.
Can you feel some of that?
You'd better
not upset her.

When she's being generous don't get greedy
and sometimes she will need you to be needy.
Half the time is more than enough for your stuff
the other half does not do her justice.

How to be good to her?
Think
about how she must
feel.
Can you feel some of that?
Choose her
or lose her.

Learn the names of the flowers in the yard
they're right in front of you and it's not that hard.
Look her in the eye, smile at her smile
and clean something every once in a while.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #17
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wow, very interesting and very cool stuff. Im gonna have to give all of this a proper listen. I spun a couple for a quick listen but this is stuff you have really let yourself fall into to experience. I love the unconventional style.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #18
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I like that phrase "fall into".

A lot of people approach stuff (music, or politics or poetry) by insisting that it is going to be completely understood measure by measure. They read new stuff like there is nothing new and there is no confusion and reorientation in the experiencing of it. Then if somehow the new and mysterious material does not "compute" for these assumptions, these people reject it as strange.

Music (and other beautiful things) has beauty partly in its mystery, in its confusion, and in the push it gives you to re-evaluate. That is something like "falling into" it.

gracias.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:32 PM   #19
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Default how the hell to do background vocal???

After a lot of fussing, here is the vocal version of the previous song.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10340069

Confused by how the hell to do background vocals???
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:52 PM   #20
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Default Texas with guitars and horns

Texas and Back Again is not yer basic Texas anything. It is fun, though.

Below are lyrics but that would require a better singer than I am.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10419652


On the highway I met a young man with delusions
travelled on a nickel as far as the institution
diagnosed himself with the northerner's disease
smuggled in the trunk to the south side.

Celebrating does not arise out of instinct
cheerleaders don't inspire the first string
half time was torture they made me talk
now I throw confetti at the clock.

Can't leave the windows open at night any more
can't believe all the things I believed before
when slow I slow down and when befuddled I snore
been to Texas and back again.

A long neck will get you from the farm to the city
floating on your back is progress ain't it
the innertube from blazes to starry azure
soaking up Texas and back again.

Rio Bravo flows across all these horizons
bounding in a slow strong creep our intentions
keeping good from bad and normal from crazy
cross it and you'll end up in Texas.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:18 PM   #21
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Listened to your new songs. I have listened previously to a couple pieces of your cuts.

They say something about you.

Do you play all the instruments? I like your drumming and the fact that everything seems to be recorded so dry and raw and present.

Do you plan your songs out or just let them happen?

I have recently been listening a lot to a 1990 album by The KLF called "Chill Out". It is a musical collage but it seems it was planned somewhat before they recorded it in a one-go grand session.

The Zappa comparison came to mind but so far I have not heard you break into the technical ferocity Zappa liked to exhibit.

It's very interesting to listen to your music. For me it's a bit voyeristic. Like peeking into your mind to see what is going on. Sometimes I let your music play through whilst doing other things. Many time I get bored before they finish. Nonetheless, I am an interested fan.

I noted on Reverbnation you are seeking a singer. I can't help but thinking about perhaps collaborating with you. Perhaps we could exchange tracks.

I really like and enjoyed the lyrics to "How To Be Good To Her". I relate to them.

Incidentally, I recently sent you another e-mail.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:25 PM   #22
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What your music is to me is "inspiring".

It is an example of freedom of expression and therefore "freeing" to me.

Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:57 AM   #23
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Deaman, thanks mucho. I am sure that some of what you said is due to the difference between live and recorded. Recorded/arranged songs are going to be somewhat more well-behaved and repeating than live versions.

My goal currently is two-headed: to learn how to use Reaper and its tools, and also to get as many songs of mine recorded quickly as I can. Since I got Reaper last year I have taken over 200 written songs and put them into Reaper form. Now I am going to start putting the best ones together to make a few CDs. My end intention is not to make it, or sell anything. I am too advanced in years for that. It is mostly for my personal satisfaction and to share my rich world of music with my kids and my brothers.

Another goal is that I know some people who are great musicians - with unique voices and instrumetal approaches - who really oughta be recorded.

The relationship between freedom and structure is a deep topic, and it is the core topic of every art. What seems "free" is usually very constrained by knowledge, tradition, patterns, composition, habits and artistic intentions.

Think, for example, about a great conversation. That does not occur when the parties think they are totally free to spout of whatever comes to mind. Rather it develops as people respond to the leads and constraints provided by others.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:05 AM   #24
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I simply think and feel differently.

To me a boring conversation is one constrained by knowledge, tradition, patterns, composition, habits and artistic intentions, social conventions, belief systems, blah, blah, blah. It's kinda like the quote on your Reverbnation page, "Why explore the same damn terrain over and over."

To me a much more healthy and engaging conversation occurs when the parties think (at least think) they are totally free to spout off whatever comes to mind. I like when people believe themselves to be free, whatever the true case may be.

I just like people the way they are.

People are the way they are whether I like it or not so I just accept them. Same with reality. (That is about me, not everyone else.)

So, do you play all the instruments? Do you plan your songs out or just let them happen? How does your recording process work? Would you be interested in collaboration?

You wrote, "My end intention is not to make it, or sell anything. I am too advanced in years for that." I do not believe you or anybody is "too advanced in years" for anything into which they put effort.

In fact, I have been thinking about putting out an album playing up the age factor as a "feature" instead of a "bug". Suppose there were a group of us in the 40-50 year age group and we crafted and released a CD of just slammin', groovin' tunes, as-up-to-date production-wise, with our own past musical heritage pushed to the forefront, just to show age and musical talent are a valid combination for expressing not only a mature point of view but also that our primal, urgent, musical, sexual lust of our youth is still intact. (If in fact we still have such feelings, which I know I do.)

As for "My end intention is not to make it, or sell anything", my feelings on that were a lot stronger when I was younger but I will never stop hoping to "make it" and "sell things". Why should I? Because of social convention? Rules are for breaking. Life is for living. Death will come all to soon and then, all chances of action in this life will stop.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:20 AM   #25
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I like jazz man and I like the general unpredictable feel of some of your songs.

Listening to "How To Be Good To Her (Vocal)" and really the only thing wrong with it is the vocal. Everything else feels good but the vocal doesn't (imo) really stand up to the other general well rounded tone of the music.

Good stuff man.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:45 AM   #26
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I am not a singer. So I consider these things demos to give a singer an idea. I have sung simple blues and folk songs most of my life, and then sung some jazz tunes, copying my faves. But my own compositions have tried to push melody OUTSIDE those old lines. My voice and my knowledge of singing is not up to it, however. When I was living on Cape Cod I had a singer friend who collaborated some and he made some of my strange songs sound so natural!

Gracias on the comments. Any more specific and technical suggestions would be welcome too. Since another thing I am not is a recording engineer.

Like others here, I am inspired by listening to all this good music, and reading insights by intensely creative people.
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #27
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Gracias on the comments. Any more specific and technical suggestions would be welcome too.
Not at all, no suggestions. I take what I hear there musically as your vision of your music and given that the fidelity isn't bad at all (except for the vocals on that track)... it's fine imo.

I liked it mostly because it was just totally unexpected. You know what I mean... you click a link to an original song on the net and it's yet another gangster rap song or yet another "guitar hero" rock song with chunky distorted 1/8th note chords, same old fare you can hear all over Soundclick or whatever.

You caught be by surprise there and when it comes to music I like being surprised.

Anyway, if there exists any genre that shouldn't be perfect... it's jazz.

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Old 10-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #28
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Default people are unpredictable

Right on. Music by PEOPLE.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:08 AM   #29
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Three pieces in the last week. Rough but we like it rough eh? Comments on anything from FTA to WTF are welcome.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10487626
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10487603
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10487569
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:32 PM   #30
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I took a couple of years of jazz at the university here, it never really stuck with me, I guess my brain just isn't wired for it. I do however have an appreciation for what it takes to write/play it and I say all the power to you. I don't know jack about free jazz so I won't comment, just wanted to show some support.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:32 AM   #31
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thanks. Your brain is appreciated when your guitar is in my ear. Music. Takes all kinds. And more than one listen.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #32
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Hey msore - I just caught How to be Good to Her on your page.
Great stuff. Wonderfully free without being self indulgent.

Reminded me of The Roches for some reason (I love that first Roches album with Robert Fripp)
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:33 PM   #33
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Default new rules for old?

Thanks. I like the attitudes of those you mentioned. Willing not so much to "break rules" as much as willing to carve out new rules.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #34
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http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10689490

This one was written in response to some family disagreement (both my father and daughter) about religion. Their attitude is that we should all have "nice" attitudes about the world so we do not get so "negative". My view is that there is no positive without negative and vice versa because what we do when we are "aware" is deal with all aspects of reality - the bad and the good. If you can't see the shit around you, then you are not really seeing.

The sound is (as my son says) "anti-genre". But music is bigger than formula, right?

All instruments are MIDI except two guitars - my son and me.

===============

Complain and be happy
with your life
all at the same time as
giving taking building breaking
positive negative
it's all the same
in the shower.

Sky in the grin
dirt on the flowers
sense half undressed
in the rain.

Politics sweet on the tongue
turns wheat to gold
point of view only true
if young and old both agree on
big picture details of
naked debate
day by day.

Sand in the glass
crying for clarity
blocking reality's
pain.

Angel artist pulse in his eye
awash in creation
heavenly seascapes
pounding on the dry land's thirsty
rocky lips bony cheeks
everything he loves
and can't have.

Sky in the grin
dirt on the flowers
sense half undressed
in the rain.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:50 PM   #35
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I really like those lyrics.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #36
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My little brother had a birthday. So I composed this for him. Manly Stanley.

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_10727617
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Last edited by msore; 10-24-2011 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:45 AM   #37
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Default lyrics

Tom O, I am listening to your fun Reverbnation stuff, but notice you are not putting out lyrics. Is that a protection issue? Thanks.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msore View Post
Tom O, I am listening to your fun Reverbnation stuff, but notice you are not putting out lyrics. Is that a protection issue? Thanks.
No, msore, I don't think my words are really unique or valuable enough to warrant being that protective of. Their absence is due solely to my lack of effort in either typing them in or cut-n-pasting them in the little box.

Do you feel having the lyrics there would add significantly to the listening experience?
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:41 AM   #39
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Default singers and words

Yeah, I do. You sing clearly enough, and it's not too much of a problem in your case. But I like the option (as both a poet and a music-listener) of taking a listen and/or doing a read.

Sounds in your music like you have at least two good singers. How do they relate to each other in composing and performing?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:22 PM   #40
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Thanks for your input on the lyrics thing. That's helpful.

I don't intend to clog your thread up with my band dynamics, but since you asked, I feel we have a pretty good thing going. I write most of the songs, and Liz writes some too. We mostly write alone. When one of us has a song fleshed out fairly well, we bring it to the band and see if they want to play it. If they do, then we usually just play through it a bunch and improvise/collaborate our way to an arrangement. Sometimes I'll have a specific thing that I'll ask someone to try to play or sing, but for the most part I like to hear what my bandmates come up with on their own. It's more fun when everyone has some input.
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